New Policy At LISD For AP Courses - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/10/07-Longview

New Policy At LISD For AP Courses

How do you know if your child is ready for advanced placement classes that can give them college credit? A new policy from one local school district is making sure parents can answer that question before they sign up.

Senior Makenzie Hodge is taking four AP courses this year, a tough course load, but one she says she can handle.

"I knew it would be a lot of work and I'm OK with that. They're college courses so you expect that," she says.

But not all students do. In fact, Longview High School Principal Milton Wallace says some students will sign up for the AP course, thinking they can handle it and then six weeks later, drop out.  

"These courses are very rigorous and we want to make sure that if they're going to be in them that they really, really, understand what they're getting themselves into," Wallace says.

So the school has come up with a contract between the student, a parent, and the teacher, outlining what's expected in an AP course. All three have to sign it before the student can take the class.

"We're going to have students for the first time really seriously stop and evaluate where they are...they need to understand that if they're going to be in the class we want them to complete it, we want them to go all the way through it and hopefully take the test at the end," says Wallace.

And if they do take the test, they can earn college credit. That's something parents are happy about.  

"It will save parents money, which is a wonderful thing to be able to go to high school and obtain college credits at the same time," says LHS parent Andy Mack.

And in the long run..."I think it will strengthen the courses because it will keep kids there that are supposed to be there," Mack says.

Kids like Makenzie, who hopes to attend Baylor University with as many credits as she can earn.  

The school say they thought about some other options, such as teacher recommendations for AP courses, but decided this was the best solution. They hope to start using the contracts next school year.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com.

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